THE MILL STUDIO THEATRE:  5 – 20 JULY 2017

Guildford Arts, in conjunction with the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, opened its 2017 Art Exhibition at the Mill Studio on the evening of Tuesday July 4th.

Launched in style by Nicholas Tromans, Curator of Watts Gallery,”Art,” he said, “doesn’t get better in London spaces – the prices merely get bigger!

He added ‘local’ should never be thought of as derogatory because art and art movements frequently sprang from localised gatherings; Watts in Compton could be given as one such example.

This year Guildford Arts again offered an eclectic range of styles, materials and concepts from 25 contributors and I joined an informed crowd circulating among works that represent national, regional and local names.

Although the selection is gender-neutral one can detect this year that many of the exhibitors are women but the 5 men represented are by no means ‘token’ – offering a resonance and in my judgement a measure of anchorage to an exciting and fluid Show.

I discovered David Dragon’s ‘Downtown Train’ to have a magnetic quality; Andrew Curtis’ visual assurance with both Zanzibar Beach and his ‘arab collection’ also drew the eye of many around me.

But nearby Barbara Beaumont’s stunning abstracts, achieved with a nod to architectural precision, certainly attracted an appreciative gathering too that rarely subsided as the evening progressed.

I found myself returning to the work of Wanborough based, Fleur Robertson; her Normandy Pear, discreet among larger works, suggested a delicacy and observation that contrasted effectively with the bolder and dramatic pieces of Christianne Zschommler.

This year’s exhibition continues to astonish and could exceed some earlier shows; oils, acrylics, photographs on aluminium, sculpting and ceramics (look out for Christine Suzman’s bronze and ceramic submissions and Reece Ingram’s ‘In the Woods’), pastels and works with cement can be seen.

I can only echo Nicholas Tromans’ observation – ‘local does not mean lesser.’ How true.



© Guildford Arts 2016

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